Top Chef It Yourself – Round 2

The introductory round was such fun, we’re doing it again. What can you come up with using these ingredients?


Dates and…

GINJAH! (can you tell I was using my Top Chef Chairman pizzaz with that one?)

Here’s the deal, 

  • You must be a foodie blogger to participate
  • It is a monthly challenge–one entry per month
  • Submit a dish incorporating 3 pre-set ingredients–doesn’t matter if  you follow, tweak or create your own recipe. You aren’t restricted to these ingredients, add at will
  • All recipes must be submitted by the 20th of the month
  • One recipe will be voted as the TCIY Recipe of the Month
  • Winning recipe will be announced and featured on the 25th of the month  on this blog
  • Blogger with the winning entry will receive a special widget to display on their site
  • Winning blogger will choose 3 other entries they liked and will link them on their winning post

Who’s in? I’ll tell you

Michelle at 5Forks
Jen at Braise, Boil, Bake
Arlene at Food of Love
Jenn at Sweet Water Cooks
Christine at Vancouver Food & Wine Review
Thas at Cooking with Thas
Casey at E-G-L in Bulgaria

And here they are, the entries for this month’s challenge.

Michelle, dazzled us and her daughter with a sweet recipe: Fruit and Nut Couscous. She also offers up some tips to make this a wallet-friendly snack.

Christine meant serious business when she put this meal together. Her Braised Lamb with Zalouk and Couscous looks divine. I guess that’s appropriate since this is a meal served at dinner parties in a ceremony style entrance that elicits ooohs and aaaahs from the guests.

As for me, dates and couscous were unfamiliar territory. This was the 3rd time I’d eaten couscous and knew I need to do something to help me through its texture. I came up with Couscous Fritters with Date and Ginger Sauce. Hubby and I loved it!

Casey came through with another dessert, this one inspired by Moroccan flavors. Her version of Date & Ginger Couscous Pudding sounds awesome and it doesn’t get in the way of her LCD diet.

17 thoughts on “Top Chef It Yourself – Round 2

  1. I have a week on vacation to ponder this, but I’m going to try to make the deadline. I have all 3 on hand right now, but we’re leaving tomorrow, so no time to cook.

  2. oh lord…this should be interesting – i’ve never used couscous! i’ve used dates only once! i detest ginger!
    oh but i like a challenge!!

  3. I’d love to join the challenge but I just can’t justify forking over $12/kg ( $5.45/ lb) for dates and I just can’t seem to find coucous. They’re usually available but they obviously haven’t restocked since it’s not really a popular food item here. It’s conidered exotic over here, really.

  4. There is a lot of different types of couscous, is there any restriction on the types we can and cannot use? Also, do you care if the dates is dried? Or does it have to be fresh?

  5. @Masochist, I understand. I’m sure you have limited access to ingredients, stick around for the next round.

    @Christine- Use the type of couscous you prefer. This will be my first time working with it. I’m not even sure what kind I got…
    As for the dates, dry is fine, quite honestly, I’ve never seen the fresh ones.

  6. Nice choice of ingredients, I will try to come up with a dish.

    Also, I am passing on an award to you. Please click on the link and download the image:
    If you accept the award, please post 10 honest things about yourself in your blog and send the award to 10 fellow food bloggers!

    I hope you’ll accept the Honest Scrap and I’m looking forward to reading your 10 honest facts!!

  7. braiseboilbake says:

    I have to tell you, I attempted a dish. I made a stuffed leg of lamb with a couscous-date-pine nut stuffing and a ginger-balsamic glaze. I had only one night this week I could have done it (Monday) which was sandwiched right between a trip out of town and just before my husband left again for a work trip–I was rushed and didn’t take the care I should have, and… I hated it. It was a really nice idea, but my execution just *sucked* this time around. My husband gamely ate it (bless his cotton socks), but I just couldn’t even stand to look at the leftovers! I’ll have to try again next month!

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